Blowback_toon

Blowback

A clean, well-lit place to vent

Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.

MEL
Jack Cerf | Chatham, NJ | December 10, 2011

Mel is an E-5, and whether the Afghanistan and Iraq wars made any sense is a question well above her pay grade. She's done her job. If she doesn't re-enlist, I wish her a long and contented career maintaining the Action News chopper for some TV station. Maybe she'll even meet Roland Hedley.

THE EVIDENCE
Dean Mitchell | Sacramento, CA | December 08, 2011

The evidence of Iranian involvement has been continuous, with lots  of reporting. Just because the Pentagon says something, both internally and publicly, doesn't mean it's made up. It's perfectly logical that the Iranians would be creating mischief -- we did the same thing in Afghanistan in the '80s when we thought it was in our interests.

ECHO CHAMBERLAINS
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) | Virginia Beach, VA | December 08, 2011

What a crushing disappointment to see in yesterday's strip that you too have chugged the propaganda that blames Iran for our failures in Iraq. The recent IAEA report was the latest piece of kangaroo courtliness to accuse Iran of malfeasance — this time in regard to its nuclear program — and support the charge with pure poppycock. The loop-tape allegations that Iran has armed and trained Shiite Iraqi rebels have never been substantiated. The only verifiable outside aid and comfort to Shiite militiamen was the training and weapons then Lt. Gen. David Petraeus gave to Iraqi security force recruits— predominantly Shiites —who disappeared into the night with 190,000 AK-47s and other combat gear. Shame on you for allowing yourself to become one of the warmongery’s leading echo chamberlains.

Editor's Note:

This seems a good occasion to remind readers that it would be impossible for GBT to share all of the beliefs of all of his multitudinous characters.

PALATABLE AND FUN
Ed Saliklis | San Luis Obispo, CA | December 08, 2011

Today's strip could have used the punchline "getting all my news from Doonesbury"! I find it palatable and fun to find out about current events via the strip and via BLOWBACK.

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS
M. Cone | AUSTRALIA | December 07, 2011

Just what the world needs -- more propaganda about Iran. As if the US isn't conducting a covert war against the people of that nation. To put yourself into the shoes of the average Iranian, try reading this article from Reuters.

DEAD-ENDERS
Richard | Olympia, WA | December 06, 2011

Dead-enders? Mission complete? Exit strategy? All we need is a hanger full of grunts and a Major General telling us we're winning. Oh my GAWD it's all coming back to me now. Okay, everybody sing, to the tune of "Yes Jesus Loves Me": Yes, we are winning, Yes, we are winning, Yes we are winning, Westmoreland tells me so." (Repeat until irony is achieved.) NCOs rushing the ranks, screaming at a whisper, "Shut up! Shut up you a**holes!" We'd quiet down in one spot, and vol-up in another. Which sent the NCOs scurring off in yet another direction, still whisper screaming, "Shut up!"

I'm afraid if I stop laughing, all that will be left are the bitter salty tears. Thanks GBT. At least I know I'm not alone.

"YOU LOOK GREAT!"
Suzie Null | Durango, CO | December 05, 2011

Thanks for posting the "You Look Great!" trailer as Today's Video. I got interested in TBI a year and a half ago because of your strips on Toggle, and when I looked it up I found and watched this film. Last year, it ended up helping me understand the needs of a student who was dealing with a TBI. And last summer, I rewatched the film and it helped me get perspective as I worked through a mild closed head injury after a kayaking accident.

The guy who did this film did a wonderful and courageous job of documenting his healing process. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube here.

Editor's Note:

The 2008 documentary, made by John Byler and his filmmaker son Chris, was subsequently adapted by the author into book form and published as "You Look Great!" : Strategies for Living Inside a Brain Injury.

JUST WONDERING
Monica P. | Philadelphia, PA | December 05, 2011

I'm just wondering when Melissa is going to come back to the states, find out she's been RIF'd by the Defense Department, wander around for two years unable to find a job since everyone thinks vets are all maniacal PTSD hacks, and then become part of the OWS movement.

WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, JR.
Jahn Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | December 03, 2011

I've been enjoying the Red Rascal tale. For his spy novel series, William F Buckley, Jr. created a hero less well known than James Bond -- the Yale engineering grad Blackford Oakes. In the first novel, the Queen of England summoned Oakes to her bedchamber. On his book tour in England WFB encountered this pointed interview question: "Would you like to sleep with the queen?", to which he replied: "Which Queen?"

FAVORITE PASTIMES
Martin Evans | Las Vegas, NV | December 03, 2011

It should be noted that one of Ian Fleming's favorite pastimes was blowing up trees in nearby city parks. I shouldn't like that, but I rather do.

ABBOTT & COSTELLO
Freewheelin Franklin | Corralitos, CA | December 03, 2011

Abbott & Costello, Burns & Allen, Tom & Dick Smothers, and now -- Roland & Jeff. American classics.

ROLAND
D.B. | Lincoln, CA | December 03, 2011

In today's strip, Roland is doing a good Bill O'Reilly impersonation.

WISE
Sandra | Albany, NY | December 03, 2011

Unbelievably, Roland actually makes Jeff look wise.

NAIVE
Ed Martin | Chicago, IL | December 03, 2011

Apparently, even Jeff-naive is better than Fox-naive. Nice touch.

SCARY
Chris Campbell | Overland Park, KS | December 03, 2011

Roland is living proof that a nincompoop like Jeff is perfectly capable of being successful. It's truly inspiring (and a bit scary) to see them face-to-face.

A MISFIT
Brian Harvey | Berkeley, CA | December 03, 2011

Reading the comparisons of Jeff with Ian Fleming reminds me of Ellery Queen, a pair of writers who took the name of their fictional detective as their joint nom de plume to give the character verisimilitude. A more obscure relevant example is Peter Dickinson, not as well known as Ellery Queen in the US but one of my favorite writers, who sold movie rights to his excellent book The Flight of Dragons to Rankin/Bass, who decided to make a cartoon of an entirely different novel, keeping only the name -- but adding a character named Peter Dickinson! Anyway, there are lots of precedents for Jeff-the-writer. It's Jeff-the-secret-agent who's a misfit.

APLOMB
Maureen | Beaver, UT | December 03, 2011

Jeff has never been my favorite character, but I have to say I'm admiring the way he's handling these interviews with such aplomb.

MISINFORMATION
Peter Garnham | East Hampton, NY | December 02, 2011

I worked for Ian Fleming. He would find the misinformation here very amusing. During World War II, Fleming worked from 1939 to 1943 or 1944 at the Admiralty in London as a personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence, Royal Navy. In 1944 he briefly ran a British Commando unit; he was a planner, not an active field commander.

IMPRESSED WITH JEFF
Erik | Brussels, BELGIUM | December 02, 2011

I'm impressed with Jeff. He reminds me of French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy. Built on nothing but the sheer belief, against all evidence, in himself and what he has achieved, and will achieve (nothing, really). And in the end (Henri-Levy has already done this, Jeff is starting) it is an achievement to be a player in the media circus. Dreams, reality, spin, bluff, truth -- who cares, as long as somebody out there in front of a computer or a TV will listen to you pontificate. And if you can make a living out of it, you've succeeded. Maybe Jeff's dad will be more successful with his blog too, as "the Red Rascal's father." Kudos for you for the characters' facial expressions; Roland's hostile, and Mark is amused.

TODAY'S YOUTH
Art Seaton | Spokane, WA | December 02, 2011

While still in high-school (I graduated in 1969) I recall reading a general statement about how worthless today's youth are. It sounded just like something my dad and granddad would have said. Then, after being completely incensed at the audacity, I got to the end and found it attributed to Aristotle. After looking at the compare-and-contrast efforts on this forum re Jeff Redfern (aka Red Rascal or Sorkh Razil) and Ian Fleming, I have to wonder how much things have changed. The only difference I can see is that while Ian Fleming was a real-live-person, today's youth doesn't have a real-live Jeff Redfern. Is it just possible that today's youth are finally too mature to have a real-live bigger-than-life hero like James Bond and the Red Rascal? Or is there a real-live Jeff Redfern waiting in the wings to be revealed?